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Policy Uncertainty and Cost of Delaying Reform: The Case of Aging Japan

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  • Sagiri Kitao

    (Keio University)

Abstract

Reform is inevitable in an aging economy with a generous pay-as-you-go social security system. Often, however, the timing and structure of reform are unknown. We explicitly model policy uncertainty in a general equilibrium life-cycle model and let agents update expectations and react as uncertainty is resolved over time. Using the case of Japan, a country facing severe demographic and fiscal challenges, we quantify welfare tradeoff across generations by delaying reform or reducing its scope. Individuals respond to a delay by dis-saving and working less, while facing higher taxes to cover additional expenditures during the transition. Fiscal uncertainty itself has a more significant adverse effect on older individuals, who face greater income risks and a lower return on their retirement savings. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Sagiri Kitao, 2018. "Policy Uncertainty and Cost of Delaying Reform: The Case of Aging Japan," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 27, pages 81-100, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:16-328
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2017.11.005
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pension reform; policy uncertainty; aging demographics; fiscal sustainability; Japanese economy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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